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Burning Marguerite (2002)

de Elizabeth Inness-Brown

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1646143,571 (4.03)32
When James Jack finds his ninety-four-year-old 'Tante', Marguerite Deo, lying dead outside his cabin, he is forced to confront the mystery of her death. An unexpected tale unfolds, moving in backward glances from the present to a windswept New England island at the turn of the century, and to New Orleans during the Depression and World War II. At the heart of the story are a forbidden love, a violent crime kept secret for years, and above all, Marguerite's relationship with a little boy, James Jack, whom she adopts after his parents' death in a terrible accident on the frozen lake. This is a novel that captivates from the very first moment.… (més)
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» Mira també 32 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
BURNING MARGUERITE (2002) is one of those exquisite little gems of a novel that so often falls through the cracks of my reading radar, but then gets discovered years later. The story of Marguerite Deo and her adopted son, James Jack, the novel is set, mostly, on a remote island in Lake Champlain (VT), but with revealing flashbacks to 94 year-old Marguerite's childhood and younger years, on the island and, later, in New Orleans.

This is one of those character-driven novels with a strong sense of place. In fact you can almost feel the bone-numbing cold of the Vermont winter, especially when it's denizens venture out onto the lake to fish. But the characters remain front and center as the story circles slowly and inexorably toward its inevitable, heartbreaking conclusion.

I loved this little book, and will shelve it and its author, Elizabeth Inness-Brown, alongside a few other favorite Elizabeths - Strout, Berg and Hay. But I should add that her writing also brought to mind another nearly unknown contemporary writer whose work I have loved, Jeannie Burt. (Don't know her? Look her up; her books are delightful.) in the meantime, MARGUERITE gets my highest recommendation. I

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Nov 28, 2019 |
I read this years ago, and the story and characters have stayed with me. I loved the characters, great writing, setting(s), and smooth use of flashback. This is a tender book that both comforts and haunts. ( )
  TFHetrick | Jan 2, 2015 |
This stunning debut novel about love and death is set in New Orleans. One morning James Jack Wright finds his 94-year-old Tante Marguerite dead outside his cabin in the snow – what follows is the moving story of her life from the present in New England to the past, as a teenager in love in New Orleans around the Great Depression.

Much of the tale unravels from Marguerite’s absorbing perspective and the reader gains a strong sense of this mother’s love for the child in her care. The story hinges on the tender relationship between her and James Jack, whom she adopted when he was orphaned as an infant.

The writing is wonderful and Inness-Brown uses the metaphors of fire and ice so superbly they almost become additional characters in the book. This is an effortless engaging read. ( )
  akeela | Jan 19, 2009 |
Another great book. The ending was a bit predictable but charming. ( )
  jules72653 | May 11, 2008 |
I loved the way this book was written. I sat down to read and when I looked up two hours had passed because I was totally immersed in the lives of Marguerite, James Jack and the others. This is a wonderful relationship book but it also has a bit of a mystery and the author gives hints but withholds the 'rest of the story' which is unraveled in its own good time and by the right person. Once I started I couldn't put this book down and would gladly reread it immediately--not a claim I make often about books. ( )
  texanne | Apr 28, 2008 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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To Jan and Michael, and in memory of Emily Marshall Monley Ellis and Marguerite McKee.
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When James Jack finds his ninety-four-year-old 'Tante', Marguerite Deo, lying dead outside his cabin, he is forced to confront the mystery of her death. An unexpected tale unfolds, moving in backward glances from the present to a windswept New England island at the turn of the century, and to New Orleans during the Depression and World War II. At the heart of the story are a forbidden love, a violent crime kept secret for years, and above all, Marguerite's relationship with a little boy, James Jack, whom she adopts after his parents' death in a terrible accident on the frozen lake. This is a novel that captivates from the very first moment.

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